PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Repeatedly as the cases of COVID-19 have risen across the country, health officials have advised people to be prepared. Those words of caution have resulted in a run on store shelves.
“Mainly bath tissue,” says Doug Prebles of Kuhn’s Quality Foods.
But he says it doesn’t stop there: “The big items are Clorox, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizers, Lysol and some of the antibacterial soaps.”
Toilet paper isles have been wiped out in some stores. Lizz Schad intended on picking up some today but, “When I saw the store shelves being emptied and things I didn’t think would be empty I just bought a little extra just in case.”
Target, Walmart, Costco and Giant Eagle are all seeing stocks of “coronavirus kit” items in short supply. Giant Eagle issued a statement saying, “We are collaborating with our supply partner to keep our stores as well-stocked as possible.”
In many cases, it is a matter of waiting for the next supply on the truck that night, in other cases, it might be a day or two. Governor Tom Wolf is calling for people to limit gathering for recreational activities including going to shopping malls.
That does not extend to grocery shopping. Even in Montgomery County, which has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania groceries, pharmacies, and gas stations are remaining open.
So with no restriction on when anyone can go shopping, Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald says everyone needs to take a pause. “We want to be prepared, but you don’t have to hoard all those types of materials. You don’t have load up on every case of hand sanitizer that is out there.”
Some stores are limiting purchases while others are asking people trying to purchase too much to please leave some behind for other customers.
As of Thursday evening, there are 22 cases of coronavirus in Pennsylvania — all of them in the eastern part of the state.